Cotter Family History

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Cotter Name Meaning

Irish (co. Cork): reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Oitir ‘son of Oitir’, a personal name borrowed from Old Norse Óttarr, composed of the elements ótti ‘fear’, ‘dread’ + herr ‘army’. English: status name from Middle English cotter, a technical term in the feudal system for a serf or bond tenant who held a cottage by service rather than rent, from Old English cot ‘cottage’, ‘hut’ (see Coates) + -er agent suffix. Probably an Americanized spelling of German Kotter.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Otter, Cutter, Cotner, Potter, Cater, Coster, Rotter, Cotten, Comer

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Cotter Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Cotter name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Cotter. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • Ireland & Scotland


  • England & Wales


  • Germanic Europe


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


  • Italy


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Cotter Family Origin

Where is the Cotter family from?

Cotter Family Occupations

What did your Cotter ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, Tailor, Labourer and Boot Maker were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Cotter. The most common Cotter occupation in the UK was Tailor. 5% of Cotter's were Tailors. A less common occupation for the Cotter family was Charwoman.

View Census data for Cotter | Data not to scale

  • Tailor

  • Labourer

  • Boot Maker

  • Charwoman


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Cotter ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Cotter Historical Records

What Cotter family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 109,000 census records available for the last name Cotter. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Cotter census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Cotter

Passenger List

There are 21,000 immigration records available for the last name Cotter. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Cotter immigration records

Draft Card

There are 19,000 military records available for the last name Cotter. For the veterans among your Cotter ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Cotter military records

You've only scratched the surface of Cotter family history.

Cotter Life Expectancy

What is the average Cotter lifespan?

Between 1945 and 2004, in the United States, Cotter life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1954, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Cotter in 1945 was 39, and 79 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Cotter

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Cotter ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Cotter Family Ancestors

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